A 26-year-old building engineer, Mr. Benedict Otanwa, has told operatives of the Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) that he took to crime like duck to water after President Muhammadu Buhari came to power. According to him, he joined crime after his company lost a contract because of Buhari’s economic policy.
The loss of the contract led to many workers in the company being relieved of their duties. He said that he was part of the workers affected in the company’s downsizing.
The police said: “The suspects Otanwa, Okopi and Ijiga are all natives in of Benue State. They were arrested by operatives of the IRT in Nassarawa State for coordinating several robberies, which include the robbery of a popular pharmacy and snatching of a Toyota Sienna car in Yanya, Nasarawa State.”
He explained that he was already married before the sack and couldn’t provide for his family anymore. He was troubled. He soon became friendly with a man called, IG.
He revealed his financial situation to IG, who gave him money on different occasions. One day, IG told Otanwa that he was going to introduce him to a business that would be fetching him good money.
Otanwa would later realise that the business was robbery. In the first operation, two members of his church went with them. He said: “I’m a building engineer.
I joined robbery after I was sacked by the company where I was working in Abuja. Our company lost a contract after President Buhari came to power. I was already married; I could no longer provide for my family.
Unfortunately I met one guy, IG and told him about my predicament. He gave me some money. After a while, IG asked me to join him in his business. I asked what it was and he said I should meet him at a junction close to my house.”
When Otanwa got to the junction, he met IG and another man called Oteh. Otanwa said that two members of his church, Sunday and Monday, were also there. Otanwa said: “We moved out. IG showed us a pharmacy.
He said we should rob it. On our way, we saw a Toyota Sienna. IG and Oteh, who had guns with them, went and snatched it from the owner. We later sold it. I was given N5,000 after the vehicle was sold.
Honestly, it was poverty that pushed me into this.” Another member of the gang, Monday Ijiga, 27, said: “I joined the gang in May 2015. I was looking for job when I was lured into robbery.
I met the gang leader, IG, in Abuja. He is from my home town. He was a taxi driver. There was a particular day I entered his cab. I realised we are from the same town. We started discussing.
I told him that I was looking for a job. He asked me to meet him at Orange Market, Maraba, Nassarawa State. It was at the market that he told me that he was into robbery.
He took me to two operations. After the last operation in New Yanya, where we snatched a Toyota Sienna, I was arrested.”